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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 07-21-2012, 12:26 AM
Mikechu Mikechu is offline
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2008 535i spark plug change at ~ 33,000 miles?

I have a 2008 BMW 535i (N54) with ~33,000 miles. BMW dealership recommends to change the spark plug at this service interval because "it's a turbo engine." Is this true at 33k miles??? I consulted the Bentley service manual and it recommends 100k mile change interval. I'm a bit confused on who to believe Any feedback is appreciated.
Note: Vehicle is driven about 4-8 miles/day local street (highway, rarely driven). Climate, desert heat.
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  #2  
Old 07-21-2012, 01:33 AM
tchavera tchavera is offline
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in my person opinion i would agree. i work on a lot of BMWs but i'm not an engineer by any means. i think the dealer is going based on cars in general. BMW has a high service interval for a marketing reason. like 10k for an oil change is really safe for the engine. any mechanic/technician i've been around or read about normally is in the 50k range. however, the engine would muchly appreciate the tune. the dealer wants the $ because it charges like x3 the actual time frame for the labor rate. i would go ahead and do it if not soon but do it yourself. BMW makes the easiest engines to change the spark plugs on. all you need is a basic socket and ratchet set
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  #3  
Old 07-21-2012, 02:53 AM
Mac Hadley Mac Hadley is offline
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The recommended spark plug change interval for the N54 is 45K, that's different from other BMWs.
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  #4  
Old 07-21-2012, 03:46 AM
Munich77 Munich77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Hadley View Post
The recommended spark plug change interval for the N54 is 45K, that's different from other BMWs.
Yep that is the N54 interval!
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  #5  
Old 07-21-2012, 04:52 AM
BMW535xia BMW535xia is offline
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not to bust on you or your thread, but driving 4-8 miles each day is doing your car a huge disservice.
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  #6  
Old 07-21-2012, 10:16 AM
06530IDAN 06530IDAN is offline
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I changed my spark plugs at 70,000 miles and wished I had checked them first before I bought new ones. Personally, I could have kept them for another 30,000 miles. So go ahead, take them out, inspect them and go from there. Maybe, you can use that money to buy a couple ignition coils for spares. ;-)

While you are at it, inspect the wire harness to make sure there are no broken electrical wire insulators; my speedometer was jumpy because of that.

Last edited by 06530IDAN; 07-21-2012 at 10:27 AM.
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  #7  
Old 07-21-2012, 11:22 AM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Originally Posted by BMW535xia View Post
not to bust on you or your thread, but driving 4-8 miles each day is doing your car a huge disservice.
I totally agree. Very hard on your car. The engine never warms up enough to burn off steam and other gases which will condense into the oil, contaminating it. Additives are used up very quickly fighting the contaminants. Unburned gas makes your oil very acidic and attacks gaskets.

Your average speed is also probably low, meaning that it takes many hours of engine operation to reach the normal miles that warrant draining your oil. You really need to have short drain intervals on your oil if you plan on keeping the car (maybe as short as 3K or two times per year, whichever is less).

Your driving habits are what they are, just be cognizant of their effect on your engine and take extra precautions.

If you can do your own plugs I would say yes, every 35K-40K miles. If you have to pay, have one removed during other service and examine it for yourself. If you look at pictures of plugs with normal wear and plugs that need replacing between you and your mechanic you can make the call to extend use to 50K or 60K miles. But I am guessing that with all of those short trips you will be due at 35K.
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  #8  
Old 07-21-2012, 12:19 PM
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legend700 legend700 is offline
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As mentioned earlier, the BMW recommended interval for TT engine spark plugs is 45K miles. People familiar with these engines, when driven hard, suggest changing them at around 30K miles. Not sure what a lightly used engine requires. Changing them is not difficult, but a special socket is needed and only Bosch/BMW plugs can be used at around $20 per piece.
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  #9  
Old 07-21-2012, 12:55 PM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legend700 View Post
As mentioned earlier, the BMW recommended interval for TT engine spark plugs is 45K miles. People familiar with these engines, when driven hard, suggest changing them at around 30K miles. Not sure what a lightly used engine requires. Changing them is not difficult, but a special socket is needed and only Bosch/BMW plugs can be used at around $20 per piece.
Actually with short trips and never reaching full operating temperature for a sustained period, I am guessing he will see more plug fouling than if it were driven hard.

Thin wall socket is $15-$30 depending upon where you buy it.

Bosch plugs can be found pretty cheap. (about $11 each delivered).
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bosch-ZGR6ST...item35be5bc167

I lucked out with my 545i and found Bosch OE plugs on sale with rebate for $3 each delivered from Amazon. Unfortunately you use a different plug.
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  #10  
Old 07-21-2012, 04:24 PM
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legend700 legend700 is offline
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I bought Original BMW Bosch spark plugs ZGR6STE2 part-No. 12-12-0-037-244 from the dealer. There are aftermarket Bosch spark plugs ZGR6STE2 available at better prices. There is some confusion whether both are exactly the same or not, and whether there is a benefit to buying the more expensive BMW Bosch plugs.
Here is an interesting thread about this, but not conclusive either:

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=695797
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  #11  
Old 07-21-2012, 04:38 PM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legend700 View Post
I bought Original BMW Bosch spark plugs ZGR6STE2 part-No. 12-12-0-037-244 from the dealer. There are aftermarket Bosch spark plugs ZGR6STE2 available at better prices. There is some confusion whether both are exactly the same or not, and whether there is a benefit to buying the more expensive BMW Bosch plugs.
Here is an interesting thread about this, but not conclusive either:

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=695797
Nice comparison. Looks like a difference in plating on the ground electrodes. Probably no difference in performance. I can't imagine Bosch would use the same part number if there were differences in specs.
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  #12  
Old 07-21-2012, 11:06 PM
Mikechu Mikechu is offline
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Thank you, I appreciate everyone's responses. I am looking forward to working on the car. On a side note, I asked the dealership how much it would cost, I was quoted $500 bucks (Parts/ labor). I almost had a heart attack!!! LOL Thanks again everyone for providing me with invaluable information. I Can't wait to install the new plugs myself!
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  #13  
Old 07-21-2012, 11:13 PM
Mikechu Mikechu is offline
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I never knew driving short distances would effect the car in that matter, it makes perfect sense from your description. Thanks for the heads up! =D
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  #14  
Old 07-23-2012, 04:08 PM
Gilgorm Gilgorm is offline
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Not to throw cold water on the recommendations I have a few questions:
Is the car acting up? Have you noticed any drop in performance or increase in gas consumption?
If not, why bother doing the job now? The fact you have a 'turbo' has no bearing on your need for new plugs. Change them if you want but as suggested by others check first to see if they need it.
Just my 2 cents.
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  #15  
Old 07-23-2012, 05:30 PM
Mikechu Mikechu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilgorm View Post
Not to throw cold water on the recommendations I have a few questions:
Is the car acting up? Have you noticed any drop in performance or increase in gas consumption?
If not, why bother doing the job now? The fact you have a 'turbo' has no bearing on your need for new plugs. Change them if you want but as suggested by others check first to see if they need it.
Just my 2 cents.
Thanks for the heads up. To answer your question, the car has not been acting up. I did notice a decrease in performance. You bring up a good point. I will inspect the plugs first to determine if the spark plugs needs to be changed.
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  #16  
Old 07-23-2012, 06:34 PM
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borderchris borderchris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilgorm View Post
...The fact you have a 'turbo' has no bearing on your need for new plugs... Just my two cents

Completely incorrect; that's two cents of wrong.

The vast majority of DI and turbo engines have a greatly reduced change interval on plugs due to the duty that a plug pulls in that environment. That chamber is under boost, and is dealing with a lot more than a NA engine. That's why most boosted engines run a colder plug spec. Overall, with light-to-light and carbon-inducing city driving, a plug will foul much sooner in a boosted engine. Hence BMW's shorter recomended interval. OP- If you can, just change the plugs yourself; it's really not that hard.
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Last edited by borderchris; 07-24-2012 at 07:01 AM.
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  #17  
Old 07-23-2012, 07:43 PM
Mikechu Mikechu is offline
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Originally Posted by borderchris View Post
Completely incorrect; that's two cents of wrong.

The vast majority of DI and turbo engines have a greatly reduced change interval on plugs due to the duty that a plug pulls in that environment. That chamber is under boost, and is dealing with a lot more that a NA engine. That's why most boosted engines run a colder plug spec. Overall, with light-to-light and carbon-inducing city driving, a plug will foul much sooner in a boosted engine. Hence BMW's shorter recomended interval. OP- If you can, just change the plugs yourself; it's really not that hard.

Thanks for your input. I'll post some pictures of the spark plugs once I uninstall them.
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  #18  
Old 09-10-2012, 01:27 AM
Mikechu Mikechu is offline
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Here are the updated pictures. The first three on the left are "newer" due to the dealership changing them out from a "misfire ignition coil." I'm no mechanic, does the three spark plugs on the right have normal wear on them? ? http://i.imgur.com/MYGT8.jpg

Last edited by Mikechu; 09-10-2012 at 01:44 AM.
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  #19  
Old 09-10-2012, 03:46 AM
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MachtSchnell MachtSchnell is offline
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those are dirty and should be replaced.
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  #20  
Old 09-21-2012, 07:41 AM
fazworld fazworld is offline
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BMW in sterling, va is quoting me $580 to replace the spark plugs. My local Indy shop is only $225. I'm going to do it there. Any reason not to?
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  #21  
Old 09-21-2012, 09:25 AM
XanthViper XanthViper is offline
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Just to be clear, I have the same vehicle as the OP and the Bosch plugs, ZGR6STE2, are the correct ones for this vehicle?
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  #22  
Old 09-21-2012, 09:37 AM
bighead2267 bighead2267 is offline
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it's a safe investment and why take the chances not to replace it. btw, anyone knows where to get supplies online who will ship to Canada?
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  #23  
Old 09-21-2012, 11:40 AM
merle merle is offline
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I took my 08 535i in for an oil change and the scope reading came back as needing new spark plugs AND a new air filter (forget the fancy BMW term for it). I told them not to do the other services, just the oil change because my local shop can do both of the other items for 1/2 the price. Problem is, they won't reset the service indicator. Do you think the other shop can do it? I'm sure the work and service will be the same, I just don't need to shell out close to $1k for something that I can get done for $350. Thoughts?
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:03 PM
bighead2267 bighead2267 is offline
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i was on the same page. they said i need to change filter and plugs while i bring in for oil change. told them all you do is oil change and return the car. after oil change, my car turn into a finger print art everywhere. what a disappointment of the dealership in my town.


Quote:
Originally Posted by merle View Post
I took my 08 535i in for an oil change and the scope reading came back as needing new spark plugs AND a new air filter (forget the fancy BMW term for it). I told them not to do the other services, just the oil change because my local shop can do both of the other items for 1/2 the price. Problem is, they won't reset the service indicator. Do you think the other shop can do it? I'm sure the work and service will be the same, I just don't need to shell out close to $1k for something that I can get done for $350. Thoughts?
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  #25  
Old 10-29-2012, 01:37 AM
Mikechu Mikechu is offline
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Originally Posted by XanthViper View Post
Just to be clear, I have the same vehicle as the OP and the Bosch plugs, ZGR6STE2, are the correct ones for this vehicle?
Yes, the Bosch ZGR6STE2 (OEM# 12 12 0 034 087) are the correct ones.
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